God gave us emotions for a reason. But sometimes we become overwhelmed and allow our emotions to get the best of us. During my time here at Vision of Hope, I have learned quite a bit about our emotions and God’s purpose for them. Please allow me to share some of my findings!
Sometimes it is easy to view unpleasant emotions as terrible things that we must be rid of immediately. But the truth is, God has given us emotions and He wants us to feel them! It is very appropriate to feel grieved and sad at the loss of a loved one. It is good to feel awe and wonder when we examine God’s beautiful creation. Through the pleasant emotions and the difficult ones, God has a purpose for us feeling the way that we do.
Sometimes our emotions can be a warning sign of something going on in our hearts. In his book, Soul Physicians, Robert Kelleman lightheartedly states that Emotions serve
as God-given “dummy lights.” That flashing red light on our dash that say, “Hey, dummy, you’d better pop the hood ‘cause something is haywire underneath.” Emotions are our warning lights that say, “There’s something important going on inside, pop the hood of your heart and check it out.”
Snuffing out the light on a dashboard will not solve the problem under the hood. In the same way, ignoring or numbing out difficult emotions will not fix the underlying issue. You just might end up breaking down.
When we are overwhelmed, anxious, devastatingly depressed, we need to recognize these emotions as possible warning signs that something else is going on. It is good to ask yourself, “Why am I feeling this way?” “Am I desiring something other than the Lord right now?” “According to what I know from God’s Word, is this an appropriate emotion to feel in this situation?” Evaluating our emotions and the heart behind them is very important.
Keeping these things in mind, it becomes clear that it is very important that we are diligently studying God’s Word so that we can discover what emotions are appropriate for situations that we find ourselves in, and which are not and therefore may be an indication of something else going on.
God had a big plan in mind when He created emotions. Sometimes in the heat of the moment it seems easier to stuff unwanted emotions down and pretend that they do not exist. But, just like a vehicle with the warning lights blaring, ignoring them will often cause more harm than good.
We serve a good God, and the emotions that He has given us are good. Let us strive to view them with God’s perspective.